ACTION NEEDED to Protest Proposed Budget Cuts to GT Programs at MCPS

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ACTION NEEDED to Protest Proposed Budget Cuts to AEI at MCPS

The MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee and the Gifted and Talented Association of Montgomery County (GTA) seek your help to advocate on an urgent issue facing MCPS families.  The Superintendent’s FY 2019 recommended budget proposes significant cuts to the Division of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction (AEI), including eliminating the position of AEI Director, which will result in major reductions in both program capacity and MCPS leadership in meeting the needs of advanced learners. 
AEI’s tiny but energetic staff provides a vast array of services affecting all of our schools and tens of thousands of our students.  Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • ·        Academic programming for highly able students both in magnet programs and at local schools, including development and implementation of increased capacity for application magnet programs and new GT curriculum in local schools in the current school year in response to the Metis Associates Choice Study.
  • ·        Collaboration with the curriculum supervisors in MCPS to create curriculum documents that clearly define desired outcomes for accelerated and advanced students as well as instructional strategies, resources, and materials to achieve those outcomes.
  • ·        Instructional and programming support for early talent development in all schools, but especially those serving populations that historically haven’t gotten access to enriched instruction that allows academic talents to shine.
  • ·        Gifted and Talented (GT) identification, including the development and monitoring of the systemwide identification procedures that are required by state law.
  • ·        Enriched and Accelerated Title I professional learning community and primary talent coach positions that support the planning and implementation of instruction of highly able students in Title I schools.
  • ·        Identification, programming, and supports for Twice Exceptional (GT/LD) students.
  • ·        Support for IB and AP programming across all schools.
  • ·        Professional development at both system- and school-based levels that promotes enriched and accelerated instruction so that all students can have access to rigorous and challenging instruction. 
  • ·        Individualized support for highly able students whose needs are not being met by their current schedules.
More information on AEI is available at:
If this budget is implemented as presented, there will no longer be a centralized, director-led division in MCPS that oversees all of these vital functions that serve so many of our students and that functions as a single point of contact for the community.   In addition, although the budget proposal claims capacity and programming will be preserved by finding “efficiencies,” it is clear that AEI’s capacity to support families and students will be severely restrained.  AEI will continue to exist, but as a much smaller unit without the leadership, expertise, and structure of a division directly focused on the needs of students who need accelerated and enriched curriculum and teaching to reach their full potential.  No other office in MCPS makes those students’ needs its priority. 
We must act!  Please tell the Superintendent and the Board of Education how these cuts will devastate the educational opportunities for tens of thousands of students in MCPS. 
How can we do that?  Lots of ways! 
Attend!  Budget hearings are being held next week (on Jan. 10) and the following week (on Jan. 16), and many of us are scheduled to provide testimony.  Anyone can attend the hearings in person or watch live on-line (information is available at  If you attend, feel free to bring a small but visible sign asserting your support for the work of AEI so the BOE knows AEI brought people out.  
Sign!  The Board listens when large numbers of parents speak.  We will be organizing and circulating a petition to protect AEI’s current staffing and programming shortly.  Please consider signing it to show the breadth of support for AEI’s mission. 
Call!   Leave a phone message for the BOE at 301-279-3617.  Tell them you oppose cutting leadership and positions from AEI.  
Write!  More individual voices mean more impact.  In addition to signing the petition, please consider sending your thoughts and comments on the cuts to AEI to Dr. Smith and the Board of Education.  Using your own words is most powerful, so if possible don’t cut and paste the list we’ve shared but write about the AEI functions that are most important to you.  You can draw from the important work outlined above, draw from the AEI website, or create your own message entirely.  Any personal positive experiences you have had with AEI staff and their work that affected your child or your school would be a welcome addition.  In particular, if your student is old enough to send a personal message explaining how an AEI intervention improved his or her school experience, that is particularly valuable – the Board listens more when students speak! 
If you choose to write, please feel free to share a copy of your email on this listserv so others can benefit from your perspective and your story.  If you would rather not share your email on a public forum, please consider cc’ing Lang and/or Michelle so that we can track both the number and the content of the messages the BOE is receiving.  Email addresses are listed below for your convenience.
Lang Lin, Chair, MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee
Kim Testa, Vice Chair, MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee
Iris Masucci, Vice Chair, MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee
Michelle Gluck, President, Gifted and Talented Association of Montgomery County
Email addresses for emails and letters to Dr. Smith and the BOE: 
Dr. Jack Smith, MCPS Superintendent:
Board of Education:
Erick Lang, Associate Superintendent, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs (OCIP) (where AEI is currently housed...)

Lang Lin, Chair, MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee
Michelle Gluck, President, GTA